Forever Chemicals

There are so many issues with PFC chemicals, that I’ve decided to address them one by one in a series. I’m starting the series discussing the extreme persistence of these chemicals, because this issue effects the entire planet, not just buyers of PFC treated fabric.

All PFCs (C8, C6, C4, “Next Gen”) are members of the same chemical family and share many “family traits”. The scariest thing to me is that these chemicals will literally remain on Earth forever because the bond between fluorine and carbon is so strong... that’s what makes them work!

This persistence is why many scientists around the world have labeled PFCs “Forever Chemicals," because they will literally be here FOREVER.


Mass production of PFCs began in the early 1950's. Less than 70 years later, they are found throughout the world. 99.7% of Americans have PFC's in their blood, even newborn babies. PFCs are found in the deepest parts of the oceans, the Antarctic, in whales and polar bears, and a 1/4th of all groundwater in the United States is contaminated. Even worse, they are nearly impossible to clean up. How would we clean all the world’s oceans?! It’s not possible.

If we keep producing these chemicals in bulk, where will the earth be in another 70 years? The answer seems obvious to me....the Earth will be much more polluted with chemicals of convenience that can never be cleaned up.

Is the convenience of cleaning a stain off a sofa or carpet worth leaving this toxic legacy for every generation that follows?I’m not alone in this opinion and everything in this post can be fact checked... I welcome this! These chemicals are aggressively marketed to families with children and the companies doing this are not being honest with the facts. Science doesn’t back up their safety claims, but you should decide for yourself.

There are many sources of peer reviewed scientific research on PFCs. I think some of the best sources of information are the Green Science Policy Institute, the Environmental Working Group and Greenpeace websites. If you’re looking for a performance fabric, it will be well worth your time to visit these sites.

I encourage everyone to buy products that don’t contain PFCs unless they are absolutely necessary. You’ll have a healthier home and help stop the irreversible and largely unnoticed pollution of our planet before it’s too late.

Sean Gibbons, CEO of STI/Revolution Performance Fabrics






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